Michigan man pleads guilty to stealing state police patrol vehicle during traffic stop
BAY CITY, MI — A Bay City man has pleaded guilty to stealing a Michigan State Police patrol vehicle, an act he performed while handcuffed and which was caught on camera.
Rockyon A. Poole, 23, on Thursday, February 24, appeared before Bay County Circuit Judge Harry P. Gill and pleaded guilty to unlawful operation of a motor vehicle, first degree retail fraud and two counts of assaulting, resisting or obstructing the police. Poole also pleaded as a repeat offender with an enhanced sentence for a second offense.
In exchange for his pleas, the prosecution agreed to dismiss charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, driving with a suspended license, driving with improper plates and two other counts of assault, resisting or hindrance to the police.
At a Cobbs hearing, Gill indicated that Poole’s minimum sentence would not exceed two years. A Cobbs hearing sees a judge outline the likely sentence a defendant will face if found guilty.
The charges stem from an incident on the night of July 12, when an MSP trooper stopped a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu with an invalid license plate driving in the Cass Avenue and Fraser Street area of Bay City. Poole was driving, with a 19-year-old woman and 24-year-old Quinston J. Koster as passengers. Koster owned the Malibu, records show.
The soldier asked the three people to get out of the Malibu and wait outside his SUV while he searched their vehicle. The soldier eventually placed Poole in his 2017 Ford EXP SUV while Koster and the woman remained leaning in the front of the patrol vehicle.
While searching the Malibu, the soldier found several glass pipes containing burnt Chore Boys, he wrote in his report. The makeshift device is often used to smoke crack.
Poole squirmed in the backseat of the soldier’s patrol SUV until he managed to put his hands in front of him as he slipped his feet through the handcuffs. He then crawled into the driver’s seat and put the SUV into reverse first, backing up as his friends leaned on his bumper. He started the SUV and drove through at least five stop signs, video footage recorded by the patrol vehicle’s dashboard camera shows.
Several blocks away, Poole stopped the SUV and jumped out, crossing a grassy field and disappearing into the night.
The soldier quickly caught up to his abandoned vehicle. A K9 police unit responded to the scene, but soldiers were unable to locate Poole. Troopers housed Koster in the Bay County Jail and released the passenger. Koster was later charged with allowing a person without a valid driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle.
Two days later, at around 6:15 p.m., a Bay City police officer spotted Poole riding his bike near the Golson boat launch at 1598 N. Johnson St. Poole fled toward Independence Bridge and refused to heed the officer’s orders to stop, according to reports.
The officer ended up shoving Poole as he tried to pedal around him. Both fell to the ground, the officer cushioning his fall with his left hand.
As the officer struggled with Poole to put the handcuffs on him, a civilian bystander approached and helped the officer restrain Poole.
The officer stopped Poole and searched him, finding a glass pipe with a Chore Boy on it and a knife in his belt.
Judge Gill is due to sentence Poole at 1.30pm on April 4.
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